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Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas

Wednesday, June 2, 1999

Eagles put 10 on 2-4A baseball team

Staff Writer
PECOS, June 2 -- All eight of Pecos Eagles' regular position players, and their two main starting pitchers, were named to the 1999 All-District 2-4A baseball squad, selected three weeks ago by the district's six coaches.

Eight of the 10 were first team selections, including junior pitcher/designated hitter Josh Casillas, who shared Most Valuable Player honors with Clint's Freddy Ortiz. In addition, Eagles' coach Bubba Williams received Coach of the Year honors, after Pecos went undefeated through District 2-4A play and advanced to the Region I-4A semifinals, before losing to Weatherford last Thursday.

Pecos finished with a 24-8-1 record and advanced to the regional semifinals for the first time since 1987, after reaching the playoffs for the first time since 1991.

Casillas, who posted an 11-2 season record as a pitcher, with 106 strikeouts and a 1.80 earned run average in 85 1/3 innings of work. He also led the Eagle starters in hitting, with a .481 batting average, 11 home runs and 48 RBI. Casillas was one of two Pecos pitchers named to the team, along with junior Oscar Rodriguez.

The other first team selections included all three of Pecos' outfielders, senior Oscar Luna, junior Kevin Bates and freshman Mason Abila, along with seniors John Gutierrez at first base, Mark Abila at catcher and Jeffrey Martinez at third base.

Senior Louis Valencia and junior Luis Salgado were Pecos' second team selections, at second base and shortstop.

Gutierrez was second to Casillas in hitting with a .466 average, with 16 doubles, seven home runs and 38 RBI. Both Martinez and Mason Abila batted .392 this season, with Martinez collecting three homers and 18 RBI while splitting time at third base and designated hitter, while Abila had two homers and 15 RBI after being called up three weeks into the regular season.

Luna led the team in runs scored with 46 and was third in RBI with 31 batting out of the leadoff position, where he hit .381 this season. Bates finished with a .317 batting average and 17 RBI in his second season as a starter, while Mark Abila ended with a .295 average, with 40 runs scored and 24 RBI.

Abila, who missed last season, also made a big difference defensively for Pecos, which was plagued by passed balls and wild pitches in 1998. Rodriguez was the biggest beneficiary, as the curveballer finished with an 8-3 season record, with 80 strikeouts and a 3.35 e.r.a. in 15 games this season.

Salgado and Valencia played well defensively after struggling at the outset of the season, which helped the Eagles go through District 2-4A play unbeaten this year. Salgado finished with a .270 batting average and 14 RBI. Valencia hit .220 in 41 at-bats, with Martinez or Casillas serving as DH for the senior during most of the district schedule.

While Pecos will get half of their all-district selections back next season, Clint so will Clint, including Ortiz, a junior, posted a 5-1 record in district for the Lions, who finished second to Pecos and advanced to the area round of the Class 4A playoffs.

Clint's other starting pitcher, Jeremy Arnold, was also a first team pick, as were first baseman Mando Moreno, second baseman David Elias, outfielders D.J. Check and Patrick Tullins, and designated hitter Bobby Morales.

Moreno is a senior and Morales a sophomore, while the others are all juniors.

Third place Clint and fourth place San Elizario each put two players on the first team. Fabens' pitcher Carlos Sanchez joined Mason Abila as the only other freshman on the first team and was joined by catcher Martin Zavala, a junior. San Elizario put a pair of seniors on the first team, in shortstop Jose Herrera and outfielder Edgar Flores.

The rest of the first team was made up of two seniors, Canutillo pitcher Ignacio Jurado and El Paso Mountain View outfielder Junior Castillo.

Along with Salgado and Valencia, the other second team selections were Clint junior catcher Josh Duran and senior outfielder Roger Baeza; a trio of Fabens' sophomores in first baseman Juan Quezada, third baseman Manny Cadena and outfielder Juan Trevino; and senior outfielders Hector Polanco of Canutillo and Richard Vasquez of Mountain View.

Rally gives Rangers eighth straight win

ARLINGTON, Texas, June 2 (AP) -- The Texas Rangers are winning with late-inning offense. Their suddenly stable starting pitchers are putting them in that position.

Texas got seven strong innings from starter Rick Helling, and Mark McLemore keyed a three-run rally in the eighth with a two-run single as the Rangers beat Kansas City 3-1 Tuesday night for their eighth straight victory.

Helling allowed three hits in seven innings, giving the Rangers a chance to rally.

``I didn't feel all that good out there, but I went out and did my job, which is to to help the team win,'' Helling said. ``You have to battle on nights like this. You want to keep the game close and pitch as long as you can.''

Reliever Matt Whisenant (1-1) issued a leadoff walk to Lee Stevens in the eighth and then hit Jon Shave and pinch-hitter Roberto Kelly with pitches, loading the bases with no outs.

Terry Mathews, the fourth Royals pitcher, gave up a single to McLemore that made it 2-1. Rusty Greer followed with an RBI single.

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Pecos Enterprise
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